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Architect Susan Bower on her philosophy and practice of design.

Starting Out: When I started architecture school at the University of Kentucky, there were only a handful of women—literally five and one female instructor. A lot has changed. I think it’s a great time to be practicing as a woman. We’re getting a lot more positive press, and women are assuming more roles of responsibility. For female architects, there are two major challenges to face: lack of construction knowledge and the fact that there aren’t that many female clients, particularly in the corporate world.

Career Advice: The design field is exciting and creative, and it takes discipline and dedication. I’m an advocate for an architecture education because it’s all-encompassing. You’re prepared to think from the macro to the micro scale, or, to paraphrase a famous Italian, “from the city to the spoon.” You learn about shaping physical form and space, about the planning of cities—physically, historically and socially—and about furniture and interior design. It’s a rich, rewarding, and often frustrating field, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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